Contingent Futures and the Time of Crisis: Ganzeer’s Transmedial Narrative Art

Dominic Davies


This article explores the work of the Egyptian street artist and graphic novelist, Ganzeer, who describes himself as a ‘contingency artist’. Developing this idea of contingency, the article shows how Ganzeer’s work responds to the time of crisis as something that is narrated and performed, especially in the era of image capitalism. It begins with a discussion of Ganzeer’s use of street art during the Egyptian Revolution, showing how graffiti strategically emphasised the time of crisis as a momentary rupture in order to connect local political movements with a global media and international viewership. The article then turns to a close reading of Ganzeer’s more recent graphic novel, The Solar Grid (2016-present), to show how the medium of comics allows him to construct more elongated narratives in which the time of crisis is modernity itself. In conclusion, the article reads Ganzeer’s street art and graphic novel together, highlighting their transmedial connections to argue that it is through the revelation of ‘crisis’ as a productive category, rather than an observable condition, that Ganzeer builds contingent and sometimes revolutionary futures.


Ganzeer; The Solar Grid; the Egyptian Revolution; graffiti and street art; graphic novels; comics; transmediality; contingency

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